Bad Deals

Google-Verizon Pact Sparks Backlash

A host of Internet advocates—and even members of the Federal Communications Commission—have come out against Monday's joint statement by Google and Verizon, in which the corporate giants proposed a set of policies for regulation of the Web. The pact, which suggests excluding wireless carriers and many future broadband ventures from Internet regulation, threatens to undermine the reigning principle of net neutrality, its critics contend, opening the possibility of a tiered Internet that stifles access and innovation. The deal "creates an Internet for the haves and an Internet for the have-nots,” argued Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a policymaker at the Media Access Project. F.C.C. commissioner Michael J. Copps said the plan had "many problems," and emphasized the continuing need to "guarantee an open Internet now and forever."